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07 November 2010 @ 11:48 pm
TeslaCon review  
I attended TeslaCon this past weekend as my very first Con ever. By and large it was fun, and very, very pretty. Almost everyone was dressed appropriately, which I take it is not common for all Cons. Some of the outfits, particularly the evening wear, were exceptional. Shockingly, I was more of a fan of the costumes that more closely followed the historical Victorian aesthetic than the ones that were more along the lines of anime-chick-plus-a-corset. By and large people were friendly, but there were a few people who were standoffish and one fellow in particular completely blew me off when I wanted to inquire about his costume. :/

There was a lot of attention paid to the "immersion experience" details - the sights and sounds when one checked in and during the "opening ceremonies" were excellent. The signage and names for the rooms and activities were nice. The foods and beverages offered at official activities and in the Tea Room were all, if not authentic, at least well in line with the theme. However, it would have been nice if the same level of attention had been paid to some of the procedural details. The schedule was very pretty, but big and awkward and required an extensive errata sheet. It was organized by room and not by time, so it was difficult to plan. There was a schedule listing things by scheduled time available online, but it was impossible to print it off so that it was legible. There was no program of scheduled activities posted anywhere, including in the respective rooms. Most of the rooms did not have a clock and there were no passing periods built in, even when massive room changes were needed. Some things that were predictably popular (tea room, rococo party, dance lessons, etc) were scheduled in rooms entirely too small for the number of people who wanted to participate. Altogether frustrating.

However, that was sadly not the low point of the weekend. I went to attend an evening session on Saturday, but the dude sitting at the door popped his leg across the doorframe and would not let me enter. He told me "we're full" - even though there were empty seats - everyone in the room just looked at me until I left and shut the door. I stood in the hallway, stunned, and not sure what to do. A couple who were clearly not newbies were right behind me and when they reached for the door, I told them that the room was apparently full. They opened the door anyway and I watched to see... sure enough, they were allowed right in. I was Not Pleased. I went to the lobby and after fuming for a few minutes, the organizer walked by. I informed him of this bullshit and he said he would address it with the organizers the following day. Oh, yeah, that will help, I'm sure. They'll give him some sort of lame excuse or conveniently not remember and that will be the end of it. Turns out that Constanza had the same issue, they gave her the excuse that they were exceeding fire code in the room - nevermind that there were MANY more people in the same area of space during many of the weekend's activities. I was quality pissed and spent some time packing up my stuff in preparation for check-out. Creating order is always soothing and it stifled the urge to set people on fire. :)

When I was satisfied with the room, I grabbed a Strongbow and went back out to the lobby, but my social circle was no longer there. I checked PJ and Sibyl's room - no luck there either. I ran into a friend who, in the course of trying to cheer me up, helpfully offered that I'd be a better bed companion than an old, smelly dog. (I know in context is was supposed to be helpful, but right at that moment it really, really was not.) Then, I happened to run into PJ&S... coming out of the room I'd been refused entrance to. Fan-fucking-tastic.That was just the last straw. Constanza was sleeping, so I went outside to have a pretty quality cry, partly about this bullshit and partly about other issues I'm struggling with. I just wanted to go home, but I'd had too much to drink for that to be safe and it was past 1AM by then. Before long, I was freezing and shaking so I decided to go to bed... except that my key card no longer worked and I was stuck outside on the far end of the hotel. Perfect.The key cards had been sketchy all weekend and this was just the perfect time for it to fail. I had to walk all the way around and get a new key and then walk through the lobby on the way back to my room all smeary and red-eyed... I took a shower and went to bed.

Shockingly, the evening left a bad taste in my mouth and tainted the last day of the Con for me. I'm not sure if I'll go back next year, particularly since the asshats who were sponsoring the panel are apparently hot shit in that scene. Or if I go, I'll bring some accellerant and a pretty, pretty lighter, just in case.
Current Mood: angryangry
Kathrinnewperspectives on November 8th, 2010 06:19 am (UTC)
a flamethrower can be a perfectly appropriate (and very pretty!) fashion accessory.

I'm sorry it wasn't all you'd hoped. You looked keen though - I especially love the simple-and-elegant passport photo. :)
eithni: excellenteithni on November 8th, 2010 06:29 am (UTC)
Thanks - I forgot until that morning that we needed a 2x3 photo for the passport - it was a quickie shot with the timer on my camera with my living room curtains as a backdrop. I was pleased with the result. :)
(no subject) - newperspectives on November 8th, 2010 06:32 am (UTC) (Expand)
berzerker_prime: facepalmberzerker_prime on November 8th, 2010 07:02 am (UTC)
Sadly, that kind of BS treatment seems to be rather the standard for conventions that this guy puts on. I heard similar complaints about NakamaCon last spring. It's the kind of crap that happens when you make the people helping you run your event pay for the privilege of doing so. It wouldn't be so bad, though, except his own customer service skills are stunningly bad and his time management skills and priorities are... dubious, to say the least.
eithni: geekeithni on November 8th, 2010 07:13 am (UTC)
Yeah, I knew you had concerns. I had been reasonably pleasantly surprised up to that point and had been thinking I could offer to help with the schedule issue next year - the passport thing was a good idea and there is no reason why the schedule could not be enclosed or sized to be slipped inside.
BS Treatment - (Anonymous) on November 8th, 2010 12:48 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: BS Treatment - damej on November 8th, 2010 01:48 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: BS Treatment - fencert on November 8th, 2010 03:56 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: BS Treatment - arebekah on November 8th, 2010 02:40 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: BS Treatment - (Anonymous) on November 9th, 2010 12:58 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: BS Treatment - eithni on November 8th, 2010 03:08 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: BS Treatment - (Anonymous) on November 8th, 2010 09:40 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: BS Treatment - (Anonymous) on November 9th, 2010 12:56 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: BS Treatment - eithni on November 9th, 2010 01:27 am (UTC) (Expand)
Kareinakareina on November 8th, 2010 08:20 am (UTC)
leatherminesleathermines on November 8th, 2010 10:21 am (UTC)
As one of the people putting on the convention, and as Fixer, I truly and really apologize for the non-entry to the reading. I also had problems with that particular panel, and since I had been asked to do something for the heat in the room and was not allowed in THREE TIMES, I said Fuck it.

Each panel is run by different people. This can cause some cliquishness when the panel is popular. The hotel, unfortunately, has only so many rooms and that causes problems on many levels.

Yes, Eric is the controller for the convention, the visionary. And, yes, sometimes things get a little... complicated. Your feelings are not wrong, your experience is unfortunately horrible. I would hope that some asshats would not completely color your experience, but if they do, I am sorry.

eithni: ?!?!?!?eithni on November 8th, 2010 03:23 pm (UTC)
*boggle* They wouldn't let you in, either? Good gods. I reaffirm my assessment of asshattery.

It was, in a way, a useful experience. It's been so long since I was a newbie, I'd forgotten how that felt. I'll have to evaluate some of my interactions to avoid anything similar from occurring on my watch.
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - eithni on November 8th, 2010 11:33 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Mariessaalienorh on November 8th, 2010 03:28 pm (UTC)
Gah. I know all this sucks right now, but you are always a kick-ass organizer in my book. And if anyone had good sense, they'd take your suggestions for what they are. Customer service is a balancing act but you deserved better.
eithni: berserkiereithni on November 8th, 2010 09:48 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I know my events don't always go off completely without a hitch either, but if I'd gotten a report of that sort of bullshit at one of my events, heads would have rolled if there were not immediate, personal apologies. The offenders probably wouldn't escape a serious spanking nonetheless. (Did I ever tell you the story of taking the king by the ear (literally) to have a little chat over his behavior at a WW years ago? I've never seen a more surprised expression! :p)

Edited at 2010-11-08 09:55 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - alienorh on November 9th, 2010 01:29 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Saralostvirtue on November 8th, 2010 03:36 pm (UTC)
Wow, that almost makes me feel better about having to do work work, housework, and school work all weekend.
FencerTfencert on November 8th, 2010 03:55 pm (UTC)
Phoo- sorry I wasn't there for you- I'd been tired all day due to lingering illness and bruised ribs complicating factors and slunk off to get some rest at home. Sorry you had a bad ending to an otherwise fun Con- wish I'd had more energy to share with you that evening, but I had no answers to the clique in the panel in question.
eithni: ?!?!?!?eithni on November 8th, 2010 09:40 pm (UTC)
No worries. It was just supremely obnoxious, but in no way your fault. I hope you felt better on Sunday!
Splottsplott on November 8th, 2010 07:28 pm (UTC)
ugh. *hugs* as someone who's been an organizer for a first-run con, I can understand some of the problems that arise in scheduling and power-struggles, but that doesn't make it any better for you or the other people who were mistreated as a result of them. :(
eithni: ?!?!?!?eithni on November 8th, 2010 09:38 pm (UTC)
Like I said, much if it was very nice, but some of the procedural issues were rookie mistakes and he's run cons before, so I'm sort of surprised they were issues. He can't really control people being asshats, but if those asshats are a significant part of the game, it makes the game much less pleasant.
Albredaalbreda on November 8th, 2010 08:14 pm (UTC)
Oh, that all just sucks. Nice response to the 'anonymous' poster, as well.

Does it help that you looked utterly fantastic?
eithnieithni on November 8th, 2010 09:34 pm (UTC)
Anonymous was obviously the coordinator. :p

Thanks, I hope that if/when life settles down, I'll have the chance to up my game. :) I sort of got caught up in making gadgets, not clothing.
naughtyaelfnaughtyaelf on November 8th, 2010 09:19 pm (UTC)
*sigh* my lame attempts to help cheer you failed miserably. Dang. :(

eithni: ?!?!?!?eithni on November 8th, 2010 09:32 pm (UTC)
Re: Sorry
Like I said, I knew it was supposed to be playful and helpful, it just was not the right thing right at that moment. :/ I know the spirit in which it was intended.
grnjenny / Jennifer Carlsongrnjenny on November 9th, 2010 06:08 pm (UTC)
Wow. OMG/WTF on the postings from the organizer.

What is WRONG with people today? Seriously.

I can't see your pictures (previous post) while I'm at work, but I'm sure they're fantabulous.
eithni: darkladyeithni on November 9th, 2010 06:13 pm (UTC)
Have a look when you get home. Oddly enough the one that I took in about 3 seconds is one of the best, even though I'm wearing just the blouse and blue jeans. :p The blue and black is my fave outfit-I-actually-wore.
EllieSamelliesam on November 9th, 2010 09:44 pm (UTC)
I'm finding the response from the "anonymous" coordinator quite hilarious, considering the things you have previously organized. And could organize, with one hand tied behind your back and one eye covered.

What a dork. :)
forfaxiaforfaxia on November 28th, 2010 06:12 am (UTC)
Dear eithni,

Were you trying to enter the IAPS panel "the R&R"? If you were, then I offer my apologies.

I'm Jeni- AKA Kapt von Grelle, artistic director of the IAPS, and we were forced to turn a lot of people away from the party because we were not informed of the size of the room for the event. We thought they were going to open up two of the rooms or offer one of the larger panel rooms for it, but unfortunately we were given one that could only accommodate 35. Understand that the contingent of our group present at the con was at about 10-12, which left room for only 25 or so actual con-goers to attend.

Also understand that we had some or our people running in and out of the room throughout the party to grab ice/supplies/personal items for it. There was a lot of ice-fetching going on to keep the white wine cool and to get cold water, as the temperature in the room was beyond our control as well.

When we opened the event up, we weren't expecting a tiny room, a line of 150 people wanting to get in, and furthermore that people were going to linger as long as they did. We were figuring that it would be like a room party at other conventions, where people stay for maybe 15-20 minutes- then go off to another room or activity. Since there was only a band and the dance going, we WERE the only other activity- so we weren't prepared for that either!

So, to sum up what might be to you as a lot of blame displacing, I'm sorry for having to turn away you and several other convention-goers from our event. We were not preparing for a lot of curve balls that Teslacon threw us (like to put a cabaret show together in an hour or take up extra panels to cover the space vacated by a guest that cancelled) and in some cases, we didn't have the materials or ability to cope so that everyone could have a good time. On behalf of the IAPS, I apologize, and I hope that you come to another steampunk convention in the future- perhaps one where we have full resources at our disposal to insure that people have a good time.
eithni: do I need to kill you?eithni on November 28th, 2010 06:25 am (UTC)
Yeah, that was the one. Thank you for the note, but after attending the Rococo Salon and seeing how crowded that was in contrast to how relatively empty the room was (with empty chairs, even!) when I stopped by the R&R panel lateish in the session, you'll forgive me for not entirely buying the explanation.
(no subject) - forfaxia on November 28th, 2010 09:10 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - eithni on November 28th, 2010 08:14 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Teslacon - (Anonymous) on April 5th, 2011 04:40 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Teslacon - Ramon Leon Del Mar on April 5th, 2011 04:44 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Teslacon - eithni on April 5th, 2011 05:05 pm (UTC) (Expand)